After heavy rain wiped away Thursday's round, the Sony Open teed off in Hawaii on Friday with Stuart Appleby leading the pack at 6-under par, one stroke ahead of a pack of nine at 5-under.
The start of play puts Golf Channel's first drive into the 3D waters on track on Saturday from 16 from the Waialae Country Club in Oahu. Working in conjunction with Comcast, production company NEP and Sony, Golf Channel will provide 16 hours of 3D coverage, eight live, on Jan. 15-16.
Sixteen distributors - six in Canada and 10 in the U.S. -- are on board to present the 3D action to their subscribers: Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, DirecTV, Cox Communications, parent Comcast, RCN, Armstrong Cable TV, Blue Ridge Communications, Service Electric Co., Service Electric Cable, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Bell, Telus, Eastlink and Videotron
The Sony Open, which will now feature 18 holes on Saturday and 36 on Sunday, will mark the second time golf has been presented in the 3D format: Last April, ESPN and Pace, with Sony supplying the cameras and serving as the sponsor of the telecast, produced 3D views of select holes from the The Masters.
The production -- presenting views from Green No. 2 and the third and fourth holes and Green No. 16 and holes 17 and 18 -- will employ six Element Technica rigs equipped with Sony 3D cameras.
Golf's 3D game plan calls for live coverage from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 15, a two-hour encore, with a return to live action from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and then another re-air.
The network will deliver a similar eight-hour schedule on Sunday, with tee time for the first live, two-hour window moving up a half hour to 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
A network spokesman said the rain-revised tourney schedule will not change the 3D windows.
Play-by-play man Rich Lerner, analyst Curt Byrum and course-reporter Steve Sands are set to call the 3D action for Golf, which also will provide HD coverage of all four rounds of the tourney.
Viewers will need a 3D-compatible set, glasses and a set-top connected to the TV with an HDMI cable.
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